Design Advice has been offered on the rebuild of the Westwind Apartments, which is being designed in collaboration by Works Progress Architecture and Architecture Building Culture for Central City Concern. The project will replace the existing Westwind Apartments with 100 new units of deeply affordable housing. The 7-story building will include seventy two SRO units and twenty-eight studios, combined with supportive services. Ground floor program will include office space, residential amenity space, and retail lease space. No vehicular parking is proposed.
The new building will replace a three story building, built in 1903. The building, which has long served long income tenants, was privately owned until 2018, when it was purchased by the Portland Housing Bureau.
The proposed building is arranged in an L-shaped plan, around a courtyard at the second level. Amenity spaces will open onto the courtyard. Residential amenity spaces would be provided at the building corner on levels 2 to 7, with projecting landscaped elements.
The primary material for the building would be metal panel, in two shades of grey. Other materials would include vinyl windows, dark brick at the ground floor, and storefront glazing.
The Westwind apartments went in front of the Design Commission for an advisory meeting on February 6th, 2020. As described in a summary memo, the Commission was supportive of the building’s overall composition, but suggested that it needs to better respond to the material context of Old Town:
This is a refreshingly coherent and thrilling building proposal, and the projecting architectural features at the corner are particularly critical to the design’s success. Additional design development is needed at the ground floor, the definition of the building top, and reconsideration of a masonry clad exterior considering the neighborhoods masonry building context.
The project has now been submitted for a Type III Design Review. A hearing date has not yet been scheduled.